Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas

Tom couldn't come home for Christmas.  He used his leave in October so he didn't have enough to come home for Christmas.  Plus he has the time off of school to enjoy down there.  Maddy will be joining him tomorrow to celebrate the New Year together.  I was disappointed on an emotional level but understand intellectually that it is part of him growing up and being in the military.  After all--I haven't been home for the holidays myself since 1984.  I guess I know what my family must have felt all these year.  Still hard not to have your whole family together for Christmas.

We have never Skyped before with him or anyone else for that matter.  But one of my Christmas wishes was to Skype with Tom for Christmas.  Three of his classmates were also staying in Pensacola for the holidays.  One of them with a wife and children invited him and the other two to Christmas dinner last night which was really nice for him.  So we arranged to Skype at a time when we could do it with Grandma on Christmas Eve.  Chris got a kick out of Grandma discovering the wonders of video chat and was really happy to "see" Tom as were the rest of us.  We got to get a little bit of a tour of his room via his new iPad that he bought for himself for Christmas.  It was fun to see what his living space looks like.

I had a wish to go to Christmas Eve Candlelight Service this year.  It has been a really long time since I have been to church on Christmas Eve.  It was always a big part of my family's Christmas celebration.  It has never been a priority for Bill or Beverly so we just have never gotten around to going.  Chris went by himself last year and he was going to go to the 11:00 candlelight service at his church so I decided to stay up past my bedtime and join him.  It was a beautiful service.

Another Christmas wish was to get my computer moved out of Chris' bedroom so that I can give him more privacy.  We cleared out a spot in the living room for one of the desks Bill had at his office.  Chris and Bill set it up for me on Saturday.  Thrilled to have my new space.

I was originally thinking we weren't going to have any presents to open Christmas Day.    I gave Tom his present in October and Chris got money to go to a conference in St. Louis this week.  Bill and I never give each other gifts--we buy what we want as we want it.  It has gotten to be a minimalist event in recent years anyway with fewer and fewer presents to open.  But I was definitely feeling like such a big part of Christmas was going to be missing.  So my final Christmas wish was to go to the movie theater as a family for Christmas Day to make up for the "no gift" part.  We went to see "Skyfall" which was very exciting.  Enjoyed it a lot.  We went to Cinetopia to see it.  I have to say "I LOVE CINETOPIA!".  Bill and I have enjoyed our couple of visits to the original Cinetopia in their living rooms.  The living rooms are smaller and more comfortable rooms with ottomans and they have waiters to order food and drink from the in-theater restaurant.  There is a brand new Cinetopia at the mall with 23 theaters--with regular auditoriums, extra large screen auditoriums, living rooms and movie parlors.  We were able to take Chris with us to the movie parlor because it was one  that did allow the under 21 set.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much more beautiful and comfortable the movie parlors are than even the living rooms.  It seats only 24 people.  What is even more surprising is that even though it is so much more comfortable and smaller, the tickets don't cost that much more than a regular theater.  I think they probably make up the difference on selling food and alcohol though.

As it turns out, we did have a few gifts to open.  Bill and I found some Taylor Swift items at a silent auction a few weeks ago.  Bill really wanted to play a trick on Christopher by seeing what his reaction would be to opening it as his Christmas gift.  Chris really HATES Taylor Swift.  I couldn't give him a gag gift and not follow it up with something that he really might like to have so I got him some jeans and socks that he needed, a DVD and a gift certificate to our favorite bagel place.  Bill got his wish by getting exactly the reaction he was hoping for when Chris saw that he got a Taylor Swift gift.  Maddy sent me a vase she bought in Macau.  So we had a little bit of gift opening anyway even though I originally didn't think we would.

Our Christmas ended with a wonderful prime rib dinner.

So I missed my Tom terribly but we made the best of it and even though I didn't get much in the way of physical presents, I got my four wishes that made my Christmas a wonderful one.  I hope that you were all able to enjoy the joy of being with family as well.  After all, that is what Christmas is really all about.

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